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Soft shell crab sightings?

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jinx Apr 6, 2012 08:20 PM

Seems they are already in this year and I have a craving... Has anyone see them on the menu anywhere in Brooklyn? (other than Talde's bahn mi, which sounds great but we were just there recently. )

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  1. Silverjay RE: jinx Apr 6, 2012 11:07 PM

    Well there is this from Eater- http://ny.eater.com/archives/2012/03/... ....I had them at Traif the other day and they were terrific.

    1. t
      TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis RE: jinx Apr 7, 2012 01:38 PM

      I had them two weeks ago at LittleNeck; served with sauted ramps.

      Their well chosen, albeit limited, selection of oysters ( I've never come across Olympias in town ) and featured specials keep drawing me back.

      1. s
        son of a butcher RE: jinx Apr 7, 2012 07:12 PM

        Randazzo's has them

        1. EricMM RE: jinx Apr 8, 2012 08:07 AM

          Are they turning up in markets yet? I prefer to cook them myself. That way I know they were good, soft, and lively in the first place.

          13 Replies
          1. re: EricMM
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            JonL RE: EricMM Apr 8, 2012 09:13 AM

            Fish Tales had them this week. $6 per, (large or jumbo).

            1. re: JonL
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              jinx RE: JonL Apr 8, 2012 04:30 PM

              I actually made several calls yesterday (including Petite Crevette, Brooklyn Fish Camp, and Littleneck) and no one had them. :( Will try again next weekend.

              1. re: jinx
                egit RE: jinx Apr 9, 2012 08:05 AM

                Oh that's weird. I think just on Saturday I saw a 4square check-in from a friend that he was having soft shell crabs at Littleneck. I may have misread it though.

                1. re: jinx
                  EricMM RE: jinx Apr 9, 2012 08:44 AM

                  Because soft shell's are so expensive and irregular early in the season, I find that a lot of markets won't carry them until May when they can be a regular item, and a little lower in price.

                  1. re: jinx
                    p
                    prio girl RE: jinx Apr 25, 2012 05:58 AM

                    Jinx, you mention Petite Crevette and I see from an internet search that it's on Union Street and the reviews talk about it being very French and bistro-ish.
                    I fondly remember a Petite Crevette that used to be on Atlantic Avenue. We loved that one but it definitely wasn't an upscale French bistro.
                    Is the new Petite Crevette under the same ownership as the one I remember on Atlantic Avenue?

                    1. re: prio girl
                      Steve R RE: prio girl Apr 25, 2012 06:58 AM

                      Petite Crevette on Hicks just off Union (on the Columbia St side of the BQE) is owned by Neil Ganic, same owner as the old P.C. and Boullabaise on Atlantic. We haven't been there in awhile now but everyone tells us that he still turns out great fish and seafood there.

                      1. re: Steve R
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                        prio girl RE: Steve R Apr 26, 2012 09:10 AM

                        thanks Steve

                      2. re: prio girl
                        bobjbkln RE: prio girl Apr 27, 2012 08:11 AM

                        Petite Crevette on Hicks is very similar to PC on Atlantic, although they do charge a small corkage fee ($5/bottle) here. In fact, because of the layout of the restaurant, it may even be a bit more funky.

                  2. re: EricMM
                    t
                    TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis RE: EricMM Apr 9, 2012 06:08 PM

                    7th ave park slope … "mid-block"
                    5$ a shell … sweet & meaty
                    go early sat morning … they come in and move quickly.

                    1. re: EricMM
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                      JonL RE: EricMM May 4, 2012 11:37 AM

                      I recognize that there are two discussions here---who is serving them and who is selling them (retail). Today (Friday 5/4) there are medium/large shells at the Carrol Garden fish store 3/$10. Caveat--alive but just barely. I don't know what difference, if any, there is in lively vs. not very lively crabs. I personally differentiate between dead and alive. In between still qualifies as alive. I invite opinions on this. Anyway, dinner is still some hours away.

                      1. re: JonL
                        egit RE: JonL May 4, 2012 02:05 PM

                        Umm... soft shell crabs are always sold dead. Otherwise if they were still alive they'd be growing their shells right after molting. Also, they're usually cleaned by the fish monger, which is why they're more expensive.

                        If your crabs are moving, they're not soft-shells!

                        1. re: egit
                          EricMM RE: egit May 4, 2012 02:30 PM

                          Not true. If soft shells are removed from the water, they cannot harden their shells. They need dissolved calcium in the water. No water, no supply of calcium. Dead crabs deteriorate very quickly. I have a lot of experience with softies, and I only buy them from stores that allow me to inspect them closely to make sure they are alive, and I insist on cleaning them myself. The really soft ones, which are the best, will have limited movement, but they do have movement....a twitching antenna, a curling leg joint. They will be very plump.I used to get really sick many times when I just trusted fish mongers on their softies...since I've insisted on inspecting them, I've never gotten sick.

                          1. re: EricMM
                            egit RE: EricMM May 4, 2012 02:57 PM

                            Okay. I sit corrected.

                            I've never made them; only had them in restaurants.

                    2. g
                      Glendale is hungry RE: jinx Apr 10, 2012 08:55 AM

                      Hi jinx, (no pun intended)

                      It's not Brooklyn but just over the line in Glendale at Tazzina they had a special fritto misto (sp?) as of this past weekend.

                      It had stuffed soft-shell crab as well as shrimp and calamari. The portion was substantial. It was awfully darn delicious and came with a home-made tartar sauce that had bits of fresh raw garlic in it. Both were stupendous—alone and together.

                      Ciao,

                      Glendale is hungry...

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: Glendale is hungry
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                        jinx RE: Glendale is hungry Apr 20, 2012 05:21 AM

                        Finally caught them last night at Littleneck--and they were superb! Perfectly battered and fried over smokey grilled ramps and fingerlings. But it left me craving more, so if anyone sees them anywhere else, keep posting!

                        1. re: jinx
                          Puppimus RE: jinx Apr 22, 2012 08:26 PM

                          Watty and Meg (corner of Kane and Court) has been making them. I think they offered a SSC BLT over the weekend.

                          1. re: Puppimus
                            j
                            jinx RE: Puppimus Apr 23, 2012 02:22 PM

                            ohh that sounds good!

                          2. re: jinx
                            t
                            TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis RE: jinx Apr 29, 2012 03:21 PM

                            Dumont .... over arugula, roasted pineapple, jalapeno, salsa verde

                            1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis
                              j
                              jinx RE: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis Apr 29, 2012 04:16 PM

                              That sounds yummy. We had some at Watty & Meg on Friday. Okay, but not great--too much five spice powder which I'm not fond of. Now, I've just ordered some from Fresh Direct (on sale 4 for $15) and I will attempt to make them myself, which I've never done before.

                              1. re: jinx
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                                JonL RE: jinx Apr 29, 2012 04:34 PM

                                I pan-fried a couple today that I got from Fish Tales. Still $6/per for big crabs. Made a simple beer batter and fried 'em crispy & made sandwiches with greens & home made sriracha tartar sauce. In retrospect I should have respected their delicate nature a bit more--the texture was wonderful but their flavor was a bit overwhelmed.

                                1. re: jinx
                                  t
                                  TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis RE: jinx Apr 30, 2012 05:39 PM

                                  It was.

                                  There are good prep recs on-line.

                                  Do note, most restaurants go a step further and fully eviscerate beyond the apron.

                                  I favor saute over fry at home ... a light touch works wonders.

                                  1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis
                                    j
                                    jinx RE: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis May 1, 2012 05:14 AM

                                    I ended up frying them in a panko crust and they came out perfectly. Fresh Direct sent nice plump ones which were well cleaned. Had them with lemon and tartar sauce which is really my favorite way to eat them!

                                    I see Littleneck has been having them a few times a week with different preparations so we may return there for some more as well. I can't get enough of them in season!

                                    1. re: jinx
                                      t
                                      TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis RE: jinx May 1, 2012 05:43 PM

                                      As egit mentions below, 7th ave south of 3rd (mid-block) ...
                                      5$/shell and they will do the prep if you wish ... try these "aqua pazza".
                                      Is "Lucky" the only place to get a decent tomato "out of season"?

                          3. sgordon RE: jinx Apr 20, 2012 07:09 AM

                            Henry's End in Brooklyn Heights always has them in season - usually available in a few different versions, as well. Excellent quality, always.

                            1. f
                              FeeFiPho RE: jinx Apr 24, 2012 03:31 PM

                              Had them@ Traif . It was on their brunch menu. Absolutely delicious!

                              1. egit RE: jinx Apr 25, 2012 05:00 AM

                                Talde has a soft shell crab Banh Mi on their menu at the moment. It's a softshell (maybe 2?) with the typical banh mi fillings served with a red curry dipping sauce.

                                I had it last night. While it was a little spicy, it was really, really good. Though it was definitely on the spendy side of the menu-- if you like SSCs, it's worth it.

                                1. EricMM RE: jinx Apr 27, 2012 03:13 PM

                                  Just picked up a few of the first softies I've seen this season, at the fish market on Austin St in Forest Hills. Will eat them later, but they are very lively and felt soft enough.

                                  1. egit RE: jinx Apr 27, 2012 05:57 PM

                                    The seafood market on 7th Avenue in Park Slope, just south of 3rd street also has them for sale. I didn't note the price.

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